PROTECT! People, Economies and Infrastructure

Event Report | June 27, 2007

“Do you feel more secure today than you did one year ago?” The successes have been in countering terrorism, which tend to be palliative, not preventive. There is a distinction between disrupting threats and diminishing the phenomenon.

At the beginning of the EastWest Institute’s 4th Worldwide Security Conference (WSC4), held on February 22-24, 2007 in Brussels, most attendees gave a pessimistic reaction to this straw poll. Two themes were central to the conference. Firstly, that at the core of counter-terrorism is the essential task of not allowing terrorist violence to dictate the nature and function of our society; and secondly, that terrorism is illegitimate and criminal. Terrorism cannot damage our liberties and rights, and it is a crime, not a war. Are we winning the long-term struggle against current terrorist groups and movements? The conference said no. Are the terrorists winning the propaganda war? The conference said yes.